Now Buy This – mark. Change It Up Bag

change_it_up_bag

I know, I know…it isn’t even Christmas yet and I’m already giving you ideas on what to buy with your Christmas money…you’re welcome.

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Cosmetic Industry Giants Facing Lawsuit

Three of the cosmetics industry’s biggest companies, Mary Kay, Avon, and Estee Lauder (and all the brands under them!) have been named in a class action lawsuit filed in California on behalf of American consumers. The lawsuit sites that these companies fraudulently claimed not to be doing animal testing when in fact they were, misleading the American public.

This lawsuit comes after the news in February that PETA was removing these companies from their cruelty free list. The reason that these companies were removed is they are sold in China. China requires cosmetics to be tested on animals, so there isn’t any way these companies could truly be cruelty free. The lawsuit seeks more than $100,000,000 in punitive and compensatory damages for a class of more than 1,000,000 consumers.

I am actually really happy to hear about this. Whether or not you are a cruelty free beauty user exclusively, I like the idea of these corporations being held responsible. I hate that companies are able to get away with being vague about their practices, and maybe this lawsuit will help encourage other companies (okay, scare them) to be more transparent and forthcoming with information to consumers. Maybe it will also make them think twice about this whole thing, and flex their power and influence to get China’s animal testing policies changed. Cosmetics are a multi billion dollar industry. Surely there’s something someone can do?

The technology is already out there to test cosmetic products without the use of animals. Usually these matters all come down to one thing: money. And that is why I hope the lawsuit not only goes forward, but that they win. You can’t teach a large company anything unless you hit them where they will feel it: their bottom line. Whether or not you are worried about animal testing, we simply cannot allow companies to lie to consumers, even by omission.

mark. Violet Femme Eye Shadow Swatches

Hello there! It’s been a little while since I’ve talked about any mark. products! I was immediately attracted to these eye shadows though because I love purples. These are released alongside mark.’s new fragrance, Night Iris. These particular shadows are referred to as Violet Femme shades, which is another reason why I was interested; I love the Violent Femmes and I thought the name was a cute parody. 
The mini collection of shadows consists of Pink Dusk, a pinky orchid color; Mystical, blue-toned lavender; and Violet Ink, a mid-tone blue-violet. 
I received Pink Dusk and Mystical to try. The product image is pretty much dead-on as far as what the colors look like in real life, with Mystical being maybe a hair pinker in person and Pink Dusk basically exactly like the photo. They are standard mark. eye shadow size (1″x1″ square pans) that come in a plastic clamshell with palettes available for purchase. They also work out great in Z-palettes and other similar magnetic palette. Aaaand swatches:
Top: mark. Mystical; Bottom: mark. Pink Dusk – swatched on bare skin, no primer
These two shadows are a satin finish, having shine but no glitter or shimmer. As I swatched them they did not feel chalky at all, but not super buttery soft either. They go on fairly sheer. The colors are buildable, but if you’re looking for really high-impact color these aren’t it. 
The Violet Femme shadows are pretty, but didn’t wow me. The colors aren’t particularly unique even if they are attractive. They retail for $6 each, which is kind of high considering the quality vs. other inexpensive shadows like Wet ‘n Wild or NYX, and considering these come in a pan without a palette. These would however be a great gift for a tween or young teen who is just learning how to apply makeup though, because they’re idiot-proof shades in that I don’t think you could make them look garish if you tried. 
mark. products are available from meetmark.com directly, or from representatives. I’m a mark. rep and if you are planning to make a mark. purchase I’d appreciate your business. :) 







Samples provided by PR for review consideration. All opinions are my own and I received no compensation for this review.
A link to my mark. store is included in this post. If you buy from my mark. store I receive a small commission.

First Impressions – mark. Summer

mark. has been a pet favorite of mine since many years ago when I decided to become a rep. I’ve been a mark. rep since 2006! The line has changed a ton since I started, especially in the area of skin care. I like a lot of their skin care products, and I used to love their eye cream back in the day before they scrapped the entire skin care line in order to reformulate everything and re-do it all.

The newest offerings from mark. will be launching next month, and I jumped at the chance to review them before they released. There are four products in the release:

Get Defensive – SPF 15 eye cream with maqui berry, an antioxidant, licorice root (to brighten skin), and alfalfa extract for boosting collagen. Retails for $14.

Conceal For Real – Intended to be a long-wearing concealer that will last through hot, humid summer days. This is in their popular hookup format with a wand applicator. Available in 4 shades. Retails for $6.50.

Get a Tint Shimmer – This is an updated shimmer version of the already mega-popular Get A Tint tinted moisturizer. It has an SPF of 15 and comes in four shades (just like the original Get A Tint). Retails for $12.

Got To Glow Gradual Self Tanner – A subtle, slow build of natural color and slight shimmer for a nice glow. This tanner/moisturizer also has SPF 15. mark. recommends this for those who want a subtle tan, or as a helper to extend the life of your tan. Retails for $14.

My first impressions of the Get Defensive SPF 15 Eye Cream:
- The packaging is good, but could be better. It dispenses way too much product with a full pump. I ended up applying plenty to my eye area and then having a bunch of excess that I just rubbed into my hands like hand cream. 
- The product itself is a fairly thick solid white cream. It took a bit of working to get it to rub in so that I didn’t have white stuff all over my eye area. If you have darker skin this might be a huge pain for you. I wasn’t wild about it taking that much rubbing to work it in, because it’s not a good idea to rub your eye area that much; the skin is so delicate! 
- No real discernible smell/fragrance.
- The SPF is chemical-based, which for me poses a couple of problems – I’m allergic to avobenzene (a very common chemical sunscreen) and it often breaks me out. Also, this is going near your eyes. If it’s hot and you sweat, or if you go in the pool, I wonder if this would run and get into your eyes? That would sting really bad! 
- Does not seem to “play well with others” – putting concealer on top made it kind of ball up and slide all over the place. You’ll have to wait a LONG time for it to fully absorb and then maybe it will go better. 
Overall I don’t think I’ll be using this eye cream. It was a good idea in theory, but the application just doesn’t live up to what I want in an eye cream.
My first impressions of the Conceal For Real Hookup Concealer:
- Again with bad packaging. :\ I like the convenience of a hookup, that’s very cool. But I shudder to think of teen girls using this product to conceal zits by dabbing it on with the sponge wand and then putting that right back into the product. When I tested this out I rubbed some off of the wand and then dipped my finger into that, but most teenagers won’t take the time to do that I don’t think. And many of them share makeup. Oy. Breeding ground for bacteria anyone?
- mark. doesn’t specify whether this is a concealer for spots or for under eye. They’re not the same. Under eye concealers need to be moisturizing while concealers for spots/acne etc. need to be dryer so they can wear longer. Judging by the product description talking about lasting through hot humid days, I’m going to guess it’s supposed to be for spots. Which then makes me go back to the packaging and just ask “why?!”. 
- The shade I used (Fair/Light) works decently for my skin tone.
- The consistency is pretty darn liquidy.
- It’s sort of hard to blend. It doesn’t seem to meld into my skin, but perch on top of it. Or I have to blend so much it disappears/gets rubbed off.
- I did not get super fabulous wear out of it, just a few hours max. 
I may keep using this if I can get it to blend easier. If you are looking for a concealer from mark. to use for under eye, I really like the Get Bright hookup highlighter. It’s not exactly a concealer, but it really does a great job of brightening if you don’t need tons of concealing. mark. also offers a couple of other concealers that I haven’t tried – the Good Riddance concealer pencil hookup and an anti-acne concealer that contains salicylic acid to help heal blemishes while you conceal them.
As for the Get A Tint Shimmer & Got To Glow, I will be reviewing those at a later time! 
mark. products can be purchased from meetmark.com, or my e-boutique – http://aben-yehuda.mymarkstore.com. As a mark. rep I do make a commission if purchases are made through my e-boutique, so your patronage is always appreciated. :)
Any questions about mark. cosmetics or being a mark. rep? Feel free to leave them in the comments below.
Product samples provided for editorial consideration.  I am a sales rep for this brand, but opinions are all my own.

Makeup Remover Round-Up

Yee haw!

Okay cheesiness ends now. Promise. :) Rather than do a ton of short reviews about makeup removers, I thought I’d just do a big huge post with my thoughts on various removers I’ve tried, from cheapo to expensive! This post is for the makeup removers that are supposed to be just swipe and go, so I am omitting anything that needs to be rinsed off or followed with an additional cleanser.

Budget Makeup Removers


Avon Moisture Effective Eye Makeup Remover – $4/2 oz. @ Avon
This one comes in a lotion formula. I don’t find it to be terribly effective on difficult to remove makeup, but it feels nice on the skin and for simple makeup removing it works a treat. It’s also great for quick mistake fixing, so I keep it in my freelancing kit.

Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover – $5.79/3.8 oz @ Drugstore.com
This is a bi-phase makeup remover. In other words, you need to shake it to mix the ingredients together before using it. I went through probably 3 bottles of this stuff before curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to try other things. It does work really well. For hard to remove eyeliner and mascara etc. you might have to “soak” the area by holding a cotton pad up to the makeup for a minute or so before wiping. I believe Target and/or CVS sell a knock-off of this that is just as good. Maybe Walmart too, I don’t know. What I do know is this is a solid choice if you’re looking for an inexpensive makeup remover. The reason I stopped using it is partly curiosity, and also because when I started tightlining my eyes I noticed that my eyes got irritated when I used this to remove makeup from that area. Sometimes it leaves a bit of a residue, other times not. I think maybe it depends on the makeup you’re removing.

ELF Eye Makeup Remover Pads – $1/18 pads @ ELF
I’m going to say this as nicely as possible: do. not. want. Don’t get me wrong, I love ELF. But not this product. It doesn’t remove very well and it made my eyes water and sting. They also leave a bit of a residue that you have to rinse off, which to me kind of defeats the purpose of having makeup remover in a little pad like this. The pads themselves are very thin, and also dry up quickly. Do yourself a favor and skip these please!

Almay Hypo-Allergenic Eye Makeup Remover Pads (Non Oily Version) – $4.99/80 pads @ Drugstore.com
As Randy Jackson says on American Idol, “it was just okay for me, dog”. I guess I just wasn’t feelin it. These were okay. Not terribly wonderful, not horrible either. Each individual pad isn’t that wet with remover, which made them lack effectiveness. This formula is supposed to be extremely gentle, and it was pretty gentle. I didn’t find them that great at removing all of my mascara. It was after trying these that I wondered if maybe I just don’t like makeup remover pads. Hmm.

Almay Eye Makeup Remover (Oil Free) – $6.29/4 oz @ Drugstore.com
I asked my Twitter followers what makeup remover I should try, and this got a lot of votes. It had been a couple years since my lackluster experiment with the remover pad version of this eye makeup remover formula, but I was still kind of dubious. I bought it, figuring I could always return it if it sucks…? It smells awful. Fragrance-free skincare often does. Companies add fragrance to things because the ingredients naturally smell awful. My first reaction when I opened the bottle: “is it supposed to smell like watered down paint thinner?” Apparently yes, because this eye makeup remover works really well! I’m a newly converted fan. NO stinging and NO residue. If you’re looking for a good gentle makeup remover get this, not the pads.

Mid-Range Makeup Removers

NYX All Purpose Makeup Remover Gel Type – $9/3.4 oz @ NYX
This stuff is a mystery wrapped in an enigma. It smells to me like coconuts. But I don’t know why. Looking at the ingredients, there’s no reason for it to smell like coconuts. Spooky. But I don’t care, because I love it! Leaves the face feeling soft, smooth, clean, and coconutty. Removes makeup very well! I like the gel formula as opposed to a liquid because you have more control with it, so it’s easier to put it where it needs to go. I have not tried the Eye & Lip Makeup Remover, so I can’t compare them, but I’m pretty happy with this unique, effective makeup remover.

High End Makeup Removers


Napoleon Perdis Makeup Remover (Foaming) – $25 @ Napoleon Perdis
Oh. Em. Gee. When I had the extreme delight andĀ privilegeĀ of meeting Napoleon Perdis and having him do my makeup, this was one product I tried where I wasn’t expecting it, but I was instantly hooked. It’s a bit on the expensive side for a makeup remover, so it’s a special treat for me, but holy hell I love it. You know those waterless foaming hand sanitizers? It’s like that, but for MAKEUP removal! It creates this luxurious foam that removes ALL of your makeup. No rinsing required. If you want to treat yourself to an awesome makeup remover, try this!

Special Mention Makeup Removers
These two are really difficult to find, but need to be mentioned because they are excellent. You’ll have to go online to try and find these. Google is your friend. <3


Sana Easy Peel Makeup Cleansing Water – $13.99/10.1 oz @ Webichi
When you read the ingredients of this product you’ll be like wait what? Use this on my eyes? OH HAIL NO. Except I promise you, this is as gentle as pure water. I don’t know how they do it, but this product has AHA and BHA and yet is totally fine for use on the eyes. It also has hyaluronic acid, which is so fabulous for moisturizing. This can also be used as a toner! It’s fantastic at removing makeup, even if I have no idea how it works.

Mandom Cleansing Express – $13.99 or so on various sites such as Amazon or Ebay
Similar to the Sana product above, this is a toner/makeup remover/cleanser in one that is as absolutely gentle as water. I’ve finished 2 bottles of it (which is saying something because they’re big bottles!). This is the ultimate lazy girl’s skin care product. I keep it or the Sana on my bedside table for lazy nights or nights when I’m so tired I might be tempted to sleep in my makeup. No excuses now! Mandom Cleansing Express has 3 formulas: Sebum (oily/acne-prone skin), Moist (dry skin), and Age Care (self-explanatory). I’ve used the sebum formula and the moist formula (which really will work on any skin type in a pinch…my skin was combo/oily at the time) and both work equally well to remove even the most stubborn makeup.

Whew! I hope that helps some of you who might be curious about makeup removers. If you have one that you love that you think I should try, please let me know in the comments. :)

Sample of NYX All Purpose Makeup Remover provided for review.

mark. Fair Trade Body Collection

Here’s a sneak peek of what mark. has coming! mark.’s latest body collection partners with Fair Trade to bring you Body Care That Cares, a collection of body products that include fair trade-sourced ingredients. 
What is Fair Trade?
To quote Wikipedia…
Fair Trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach that aims to help producers in developing countries obtain better trading conditions and promote sustainability. The movement advocates the payment of a higher price to producers as well as social and environmental standards. It focuses in particular on exports from developing countries to developed countries, most notably handicrafts, coffee, cocoa, sugar, tea, bananas, honey, cotton, wine, fresh fruit, chocolate and flowers.

 For more information, see the whole Wikipedia article about Fair Trade.

So that’s the good news! The bad news? Because of the cost of the ingredients, these products do cost a little more than mark.’s other body care, pushing these into more of the mid-range rather than the low end of the price spectrum where mark. usually resides. Prices in this collection range from $10-$14.

The collection includes:

  • Fresh Approach Hydrating Body Cleanser (with fair trade honey)
  • Do The Right Thing Smooth Body Lotion SPF 15 (with fair trade honey and cocoa butter)
  • Relief Effort Total Comfort Body Cream (with fair trade cocoa butter, olive oil, and chamomile)
  • The Big Fix 15-in-1 Big Benefits Lip Balm (with fair trade cocoa butter, olive oil, and vanilla)

So will you be giving these a shot? What do you think of the collection?

Source: WWD

Free Shipping at mark. Cosmetics

I wanted to let all of you know that you can get free shipping with no minimum purchase at my mark. cosmetics e-boutique through the 29th. The code you need to use is SHIPFREE. To clarify, this code is good on any domestic order. I think that only means the contiguous US, not including Hawaii and Alaska. Sorry guys, I don’t make the rules, mark. does. :(

If you are international and unable to get mark. where you are, I have done orders for international girls before so contact me if you’re interested. :)

And if anyone wants suggestions for what to check out, here are my faves from mark:

1. Make it Big mascara – For big fat lashes that don’t smudge or flake!
2. On The Edge liquid liner & Metalliners – These liquid eyeliners are SO easy to apply that even I can do it! And the Metalliners come in waterproof, too.
3. I-Mark custom pick eyeshadow – There are some really gorgeous shades in this line. Try Tiki, Victorian Lace, Plum Velvet, and Java.
4. Snap To It cases – These magnetic palettes are made to fit mark. eyeshadows and blushes, but they work a treat for just about any pan eyeshadow. They work best for squares, so these would be great for those Shu Uemura pans, depotted Ulta shadows, and more. They are very very sturdy and easy to use.
5. Just Pinched gel blush sticks – These are a great, cheaper alternative to Tarte’s cheekstains. They dry a little more than those though, which remain sticky on the skin. The colors are really nice, too.
6. Lemon Sugar shower wash – My mom swears by this. I think she’s on her 3rd bottle? Her favorite smelling shower gel.
7. Juice Gem lipglosses – delicious scents, moisturizing, sheer wash of color. Winners all around.

mark. It Kit


(click to see full size)
Admittedly I’ve been kinda out of the mark. scene for a while, but I realized I really needed to get back with it because I really love my mark. stuff, and some of the new products coming out are really cool. It doesn’t hurt that I am a rep, so there’s the incentive to have some income there too. ;) Hey, I’m unemployed– I need all the help I can get, right?
When I saw this kit I knew I had to mention it on my blog because it’s so cute! And a great deal. Emphasis on the great deal. I’m hyper budget conscious right now, so I haven’t purchased it yet…but if you’re looking for an all-in-one kit this is as good as it gets for the money. Now that I think about it, it’d probably make a really good gift for someone just getting started in makeup too.
Anyways…it’s so good because it comes with everything you need all in one palette. There are 3 eyeshadows in shades exclusive to the palette: Ruffle, Vanity, and Amped. Amped is dark enough to be used as a liner, so there’s your eyeliner too. The pro golden bronzer is also included in this kit, which is a very flattering shade. 
On the flip side (literally…) there are 3 glosses in Strut, Primp, and Sigh. I do know that the glosses are usually sheer, but Strut is a very bright punch of pink. The other 3 colors are 3-in-1 creams that can be used on eyes, lips, or cheeks. I hear they make excellent primers for the shadows, too.
So if you love your flip for its, get this! Or if you haven’t tried one yet…this is a good one to start with! This whole kit is just $20. Yeah, $20 flippin dollars for a palette with 10 products in it. Even more than 10 if you count each use for every product. 
I feel like Billy Mays (RIP) saying this, but wait, there’s more. If you get the It Kit, you also get a free travel brush set ($15 value). If that doesn’t seal the deal what will?! For just $5 more you can get free shipping! For the extra $5 I highly recommend the Cheat Sheet oil blotters. Can never have too many oil blotters in your purse, I say.
If you’re convinced and you want to buy, consider buying it from my mark. boutique. It’d really help me out. :)

mark. Gifts With Purchase

It has been a while since I have mentioned anything from mark. cosmetics, and for you mark. girls out there I apologize! I haven’t really been an active mark. rep in a while. BUT I couldn’t let these deals go by without mentioning them to you. So whether you’re a big mark. fan or new to the brand, these gift with purchase offers are a great deal!

Through December 15th, place an order for $35 or more and use code GIFTS35 at checkout and receive FREE SHIPPING and:

Kissink Lip Tintmarker in Red Siren (left)
and
Jewel Body Cream, a luxurious body cream with the scent of mark. Jewel fragrance.
But wait, there’s more!
If you place an order of $60 or more and use code GIFTS60 you can get all of the above (including the free shipping of course) and these…
Sparkletubes in Red Sparkle
Scanda-lash in Blacklash
1 hookup connector
Rebel Rose eyeshadow quad
Crystal Shimmer in Bronzette
Wow, right? Pretty fantastic GWPs. mark. cosmetics make really great gifts (I got some stuff for my cousin last year and she loved it), so even if mark. isn’t your thing, there is probably someone you know who would love some mark. for Christmas! If you’re not sure what to get, might I suggest…
This is the mark. On The Case holiday blockbuster. In the cute faux croc traincase you will receive an eyeliner, a mascara, a blush stick, a cream multi-use duo (eyes/cheeks/lips) and shimmer Glossblossom, mark.’s amazing color-changing lip tint with shimmer. The entire kit is just $26 and would make a really great gift!
The mark. Super Flip Color Kit is the ultimate flip for it kit. It includes 9 eyeshadows and 9 lip glosses/lip sticks. On both sides there are shades ranging from opaque mattes to sheer shimmers. The Super Flip Color Kit is just $20.
Remember guys, mark. also has fantastic jewelry, bags, and apparel (including 2 REALLY cute hats that I want desperately) and much more. So why not meet mark. under the mistletoe this holiday season?
Disclaimer: Yes, I’m a mark. rep. Yes, I earn commission off of sales from my e-boutique, http://aben-yehuda.mymarkstore.com. No, this does not influence my opinion of mark. cosmetics. Like any cosmetics brand there are winners and losers, and I am open about which mark. products I like and dislike. These are some I like. :)

Win a Trip to NYC with mark. Cosmetics!

Okie dokie, sorry this is last minute but I have been slacking on keeping up with what’s going on at mark. lately. The Super Fruits, Super Foods, Super You! sweepstakes is your chance to enter to win a trip to NYC for you and a friend. It’s a quick trip, just 2 days/1 night, but I could use a quick jaunt to some exciting destination right now, couldn’t you? While you’re there, you’ll get to meet with mark. nutritionist Adria, who will give you a personal nutrition consultation. I’m pretty sure that also means you’ll get to see mark. headquarters, which is a very cool place indeed. I haven’t been there, but I have seen pictures of when my buddy Manda got to go visit. :)
No purchase necessary to enter, just fill out this form and you’re good to go. Entries close soon, and the winner will be announced 10/29, so hurry! For more entry rules see the entry form.